READ my lips all over again? Its 51 days to go. Forget about what the candidates said - Barack Obama, McCain - and wanted to do for renewable in the future for a moment. Seriously, if you really want renewable front and center, you get to vote for putting the right guy in the White House. The best indicator to see how serious are they in bringing alternative energy on the table, is to look deeply into how each candidate has voted in the past. Kind of reading the fine print. If ever, their past votes serve as an insight into their future actions. Because their actions speak louder than their words.
Via Solar Today, here's how they compare side-by-side in some of the key 'energy' votes.
|McCain's key votes||Obama's key votes|
|Renewable energy||* Didn't vote on RE tax credit extension (2008) |
* Didn't vote on Clean Energy Act of 2007
* Voted AGAINST effort to establish renewable portfolio standard or RPS (2005)
* Voted to DEFUND renewable energy (1999)
|* Didn't vote on RE tax credit extension (2008)|
* Voted YES for Clean Energy Act of 2007
* Voted YES to establish RPS (2005)
* As a state senator, cosponsored a bill to create an RPS in IL similar to the one passed there in 2007
|Climate Change||* Not present for Lieberman-Warner cap-and-trade vote (2008) |
* Sponsored Climate Stewardship Act for tradable carbon allowances in 2005 and cosponsored similar bills in 2003, 2007
|* Not present for L-W cap-and-trade vote (2008)|
* Voted FOR factoring climate change into federal project planning (2007)
|Oil and Natural Gas||* Voted to expand resource exploration in Gulf of Mexico (2006) |
* Voted to disallow oil leasing in ANWR (2005) and block ANWR drilling (2002, 2003, 2005) - a position he's changed since then (esp. with Palin as his veep)
* Voted AGAINST legislation to reduce oil usage 40% (instead of 5%) by 2025 (2005)
|* Voted AGAINST expanded resource exploration in Gulf of Mexico (2006)|
* Vote to disallow oil leasing in ANWR (2005) and ban drilling (2005)
* Voted to REDUCE oil usage 40% (instead of 5%) by 2025
|Nuclear Power||* Sponsored a bill to notify public when nuclear releases occur (2006)|
* Introduced legislation to est. guidelines to track spent fuel (2005)
|Low-Carbon Transport||* Voted for legislation targeting 100K hydrogen-powered cars by 2010 (2003) |
* Voted to block legislation that would have terminated fuel-efficiency standards (2002)
|* Cosponsored a low-carbon std (2007)|
* Cosponsored legislation mandating production of 18B gallons of renewable fuels by 2016 (2007)
* Sponsored a bill to raise fuel-efficiency std 4% per year until 2018 (2006)
* Voted FOR a budget amendment promoting biofuels and hybrid cars (2006)
If you want to explore more votes, go here.
The differences between the two candidates is clear. In a few votes, Obama and McCain voted the same way. However, in other 'key votes' they parted. Seeing the two candidates' past votes with naked eye, shouldn't fool you much longer.
Here is the thing. The US needs a drastic change on federal energy policies from the mantra of '..Drill, Baby, Drill' - to - 'No Drill, Baby. No Way. Bring renewable, Baby' This drill-baby-drill is no vision. A typical short-cut answer to a 'now' problem which does not solve the 'real' energy problems. We're not even talking the impact on the environment yet. It doesn't create new industries (read: new jobs) the US badly needed. If this is not bad enough. Consider this: The U.S. is (way) behind Japan and EU on renewable energy productions. One example wind energy.
Unless the Feds give some 'love' to renewables, you know where we're going to end up.
One more thing, don't forget that the Prez can't do it alone! The Prez needs Congress to give 'seal of approval' for initiatives coming from the WH. Without the support from Congress, nothing is going to happen. We know that. We saw that happen to renewable energy. The good thing is, this year we've got all House seats up for re-election. Also a number of Senate seats - up for a grab.
So, this election cast your vote - for a change.